From sautéing, salad dressings and more, olive oil is a universal ingredient in the kitchen. But how much do you know about this multipurpose oil? How do you use certain kinds of olive oil? And why? Let’s learn more about this kitchen staple.

When you’re scrolling the grocery aisles, you probably have seen many different types of olive oils. Extra virgin, light, and just plain virgin. Prices range from $3-$20… so what’s the difference? Extra virgin olive oil is the highest quality and usually the most expensive. This is because oils are extracted by grinding and pressing olives – that’s it. No other chemicals, processes, or heat is involved. Extra virgin is also less acidic and has a more robust taste. This means it’s great for salad dressings, finishing meats with a drizzle, use in Italian breads, and atop hot dishes.

Light olive oil offers less taste and but will not mean less calories contrary to popular belief. This is best used in baking cakes, muffins, and pancakes. It’s great in cold pasta dishes and used to grease grills, griddles or pans where foods will be flipped, sauteed, or fried. This helps to not affect the flavor of foods being cooked. Light olive oil is a refined oil, produced using heat after the first pressing of virgin oil. It’s lighter and color and has a higher smoke point.

Virgin olive oil is just regular olive oil. It’s the second highest quality of olive oil. It is produced in the same manner as extra virgin olive oil and still, a good flavor! Virgin olive oil offers a happy medium between oils and is great for cooking and baking where you want a touch of that olive flavor. Combine virgin olive oil with other seasonings for a great marinade, use it for the perfect frying companion for breaded meats, vegetables, and more. Or, the best tip yet, substitute for mayo in your favorite recipes!

Whatever oil you choose to use, you’re sure to reap the benefits. Olive oil is a great addition to every kitchen and offers so many health benefits. Next time you’re searching the store shelves, remember to consider the taste, price, and smoke point of your olive oil!




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